Lessons Learned Along The Way
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
It is 5:45am and I have just returned from the gym. But while working out today, my mind was not focused. Like the other days of this week, my mind is locked in quiet reflection over where I have been, what I have experienced, where I plan to be next, but most of all, what I have learned along the way. Usually, this time of year has always been like this for me - reflective and pensive. My birthday will be within in a few days of writing this post. Another year has brought significant and impactful changes to my life - some intentional, others involuntary. But what matters most to me is who I am now. Many, somehow, assume that age automatically makes one wiser. They often say, "with age comes wisdom" but fail to mention that that saying, attributed to Oscar Wilde, also goes on to say "but sometimes age comes alone." I firmly believe that one must be fully invested in one's own life - to be fully aware, and to be self-accountable. The lessons learned along my path are what direct my life. And I will now share a few with you.
I AM Enough
One has everything one needs for their journey. Throughout my childhood and into adulthood, I often struggled with feelings of inadequacy. Not because I lacked talent or ability. And certainly not because anyone made me feel that way. My mind was my worst enemy. The inner lack of self-confidence manifested in self-sabotaging ways. I often apologized for everything - unsure, feared offending others, accommodated things and persons that made be feel uncomfortable, made myself too available for everyone's sob stories - a ready, listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. I gave so willingly of myself and of my time but asked for nothing (and got nothing of worth) in return. Them saying "you're such a good friend," was the validation I needed to feed my ego - to make me feel accepted and valued. That fleeting feeling of being valued, however, masked what I truly lacked - self-worth. Now, my reminder to self each day is to fill my cup first. One cannot give what one never had in the first place. But when one chooses to operate from a place of abundance, what others think of (or how they feel about) you does not matter. A filled cup has space for nothing else -much less anyone else's opinions or validations. A full cup only overflows. SO LET THEM GO! You are enough!.
My Life IS My Business
One's first priority is to one's self. With all the many distractions on social media and the news, our family issues, workplace demands, and even the stresses of life, we often lose sight of ourselves. Our issues are never dealt with, dreams are abandoned, resources squandered, and precious time lost. But most sad and concerning, is the time we spend watching, admiring, even envying others' lives while neglecting our very own. We live vicariously through others. But I have learned from my own experiences, that no one is charged with the task of making my life better. No one owes me anything. No one is ever coming to rescue me. That means, I am responsible for all my decisions - both good and bad. While I don't get to choose the cards I am dealt in life, I do get to choose how I play them or if I even want to play the game. I do get to craft my action plan. How I chart my course is left up to me. Holding myself accountable is the only way to be responsible. Just like a CEO, I get to choose who I hire for my team. Now, I run my life like a business. For it is MY business. You can choose to be an investor or you can choose to invest in another. Either way, I am fine.
I AM Here
Have your own opinions or thoughts on what is best for your life. Perhaps you have grown accustomed to letting others have the final say in your life - always seeking their opinions (and permission) before you make a decision. There might be others who dare to load their own insecurities (fears) onto you. They attempt to shame, belittle, or undermine you and dare to hinder what they assume is your progress. But life is too short and precious to entertain folks with small minds, large egos, and inferiority complexes. Do not waste your time. Rather, invest every minute and breath into becoming the highest and best version of yourself. Make your life count. Walk quietly and confidently in the knowledge that you are worthy. Make every moment count. Many times in the past, I silenced myself. Too reserved, too shy to speak up and advocate for myself. Yet, in the same breath, I would turn around and unabashedly defend those I considered 'friends' at the time. As always, I expected nothing (and got nothing) in return. Now, I choose to expend my energies on myself - doing the things that make me happy and joyful. I give myself full permission to walk my own path without explanation or apology. I choose to show up for myself - every minute, every day. I am present - I AM HERE!